On Thursday, the CFL will hold a televised announcement to name the location for the 2020 Grey Cup, the latest in a series of efforts by the league to generate more buzz around previously mundane stuff.
And that’s perfectly fine! Commissioner Randy Ambrose has repeatedly championed turning the long off-season into a more relevant “business season” and that gives us plenty to write and talk about.
The only head scratching element is the decision by both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to host parties in conjunction with the announcement. While one of those events is guaranteed to feature a happy ending, the other has the potential to devolve into a gathering of pissed off fans looking to vent their frustration at the nearest team executive.
Both organizations seem too savvy for that, quite frankly. So what’s the solution? Award both 2020 and 2021 Grey Cups on Thursday,
In addition to keeping a lid on potential chair-throwing incidents, awarding both games gives the league and the 2021 city plenty of time to ensure a successful event. While that makes sense for both cities, it may be of particular use in Hamilton where there isn’t much by way of institutional memory as they haven’t held a Grey Cup since 1996.
And the stakes are high. After the 2016 debacle in Toronto, the league cannot afford another disaster in Southern Ontario and Hamilton wants to prove itself as a worthy location deserving of a spot in the regular rotation.
This is just speculation mind you, both the league teams have been tight lipped about Thursday’s announcement, likely to protect TSN’s reveal broadcast.
It’s also possible I am wrong about this and one of these fan bases will be exceedingly pissed off on Thursday night. Not ideal, but certainly worth writing about regardless.